’10-game winning streak’ SK coach Jeon Hee-chul

“I’m satisfied with the defense”…Oh Jae-hyun “I studied rebounding a lot”

“Our defense played well today.”

The Seoul SK Knights defeated the Goyang Sono Skingunners 87-61 in the fourth round of the 2023-2024 Korean Basketball League on Friday at Jamsil Student Gymnasium. 

With the win, SK became the first KBL team to win 10 straight games this season. The win streak, which came against a tough schedule, gave the team its 20th win of the season. 

SK head coach Jeon Hee-cheol said, “We prepared three variations of our defense today, and it worked well overall. It was good that we had nine fast breaks that led to points. I think we played well from the first quarter with our defensive organization.” 

“We said it was going to be a tough game because (Kim) Sun-hyung was out and (Choi) Won-hyuk got a hamstring injury in the first quarter, but we said we would stick together, and I think that led to our 10th straight win,” Oh said.

SK shut down Sono’s key player, Chinanu Onuaku. Onuaku could only muster five points and five rebounds. He only played 17 minutes and 21 seconds, with Dahuan Summers playing 22 minutes and 39 seconds. 

“Most of Sono’s offense starts with Onuaku’s passes, and I think what was different today was that our players did a good job of blocking Onuaku’s passes, and I think we did a good job of defending from the first quarter,” said Jeon Hee-chul.

The biggest change for SK was the injury to Kim Sun-hyung. Kim suffered an ankle injury in the last match against the Busan KCC Aegis and was removed from the roster for the match. 

In his place, head coach Jeon Hee-chul gave Gomez Deliano more playing time. Gomez finished with eight points and three assists, but he also missed rotations on defense and was sent off for five fouls.

“He’s adjusted a little bit,” Jeon said. His aggressiveness is good, but he committed a lot of fouls because he plays dirty defense. The rotation defense misses were almost all Gomez, but I think he will adapt as he plays more games. He has the skill and speed for offense, but he seems to miss because he is greedy to produce offensive points.” 

For SK, Oh Jae-hyun had a strong game alongside Warney. Oh had 14 points and four assists to back up Warney, who exploded for 23 points. He also dominated on the boards, grabbing seven rebounds. 

“My older brother (Choi) is the best rebounder on the team, but I’m trying to learn from him,” Oh said. I’ve seen how he grabs rebounds, and he has good timing. I also saw the timing in the game and thought I should go in, but I definitely dropped a lot today.”

By now, SK has completed a 10-game winning streak and is now 2.5 games behind sole leader Wonju DB Promise. There are still plenty of games left to play, so the team can still challenge for the top spot in the regular season.

“DB is so strong, but we lose the firepower battle. When we play head-to-head, we must drop points. We can score enough points on average, but if we don’t reduce points on defense, we can’t win easily,” said Jeon, who is wary of the matchup.

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